Thirty years ago today the Challenger Space Shuttle rocketed into the sky aimed at history.
On board were six astronauts and a teacher, bound to prove that with training, any American could dream of helping explore beyond our world. But as the Challenger rocketed into the sky disaster struck. The moment of human achievement lasted 73 seconds before it became human tragedy.
That night, instead of giving the State of the Union Address, President Ronald Reagan spoke to a grieving nation. Several quotes from that speech have been echoed over the past three decades, but perhaps one that might best capture the spirit of the crew is this one: “The future doesn’t belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave.”
The seven astronauts were Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and school teacher Christa McAuliffe.